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The Disease: One Man’s Journey Through a Life with Leprosy

Amazon.com Price: $4.99 (as of 13/11/2023 18:12 PST- Details)


Before there was social distancing, there was social isolation: the author’s mother was confined to a leper colony for over 20 years. Her husband, Johnny P. Harmon, a good looking and intelligent Texan had dreams of becoming a Texas A&M civil engineer. Without warning, he also becomes a leper. He becomes a member of society’s most feared and ostracized community. Johnny initially thinks that being confined to Carville would amount to a death sentence. Within a short time, he begins a new life for himself within the barbed wire fences of Carville. He creates a successful photography business, becomes a passionate advocate for the patients and falls in love with another patient.

This memoir speaks of one person’s fortitude to live the best life possible no matter what the circumstances. It speaks of determination, resilience, and courage. It is also a history of the National Leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana from 1930 to 1955 when patients were treated more like inmates in a prison than patients in a hospital. But most of all, it is a love story about two patients who were discouraged from marrying and having children by hospital authorities. The book contains 30 images of photos, paintings, cartoons and illustrations by Johnny.

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